iau0801 — Press Release

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 Welcomes the 100th Participating Country
17 January 2008, Paris
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 welcomes the 100th participating country

The organisers of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO, welcomed this week the 100th participating country to the growing ranks of participating countries and organisations for this worldwide astronomy project. This milestone is reached only four weeks after the official Proclamation of IYA2009 by the United Nations.

The latest country to join the International Year of Astronomy 2009 initiative is the People's Republic of Bangladesh. This is a particularly welcome addition to the growing worldwide project since one of its aims is to promote astronomy and develop astronomical networks in developing countries.

Mr. F. R. Sarker the General Secretary of the Bangladesh Astronomical Society is the Chair of the Bangladesh IYA2009 National Node and explains why he and his country are participating in the International Year of Astronomy 2009:

"The IYA2009 is a historic event which will offer unique opportunities for the people of Bangladesh to learn more about the incredible developments in the field of astronomy."

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 projects and activities aim to help millions of people worldwide to rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 represents the largest coordinated effort of professional and non-professional astronomers in history for popularising astronomy. The President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Catherine Cesarsky says: "We are delighted that the International Year of Astronomy 2009 gives a chance to the astronomers from the IAU member countries to reach out to the rest of the world and share the new knowledge and excitement of today's astronomy"

Mr. F. R. Sarker adds: "Although being a developing country, Bangladesh has a large number of space enthusiasts, perhaps more than anywhere else in the world. The Bangladesh Astronomical Society aims to let 200,000 people observing the night sky through telescopes during 2009. On 22 July, 2009 a total solar eclipse will be visible on northern part of Bangladesh, this will be one of the most memorable celestial events in the history of the country. Our hope is that IYA2009 will enable Bangladesh to establish a large optical observatory in Chittagong to explore the mysteries of the Universe."

The International Year of Astronomy 2009 will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. In addition to the 100 countries already involved in the IYA2009, 14 organisations are involved. Well over 140 countries and many organisations are expected to participate in the initiative in 2009.

For more information about the International Year of Astronomy 2009 please visit the website at http://www.astronomy2009.org/


Notes for editors

The vision of the IYA2009 is to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day and night time sky - and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery. All humans should realize the impact of astronomy and basic sciences on our daily lives, and understand better how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society.

The aim of the IYA2009 is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover". IYA2009 events and activities will promote a greater appreciation of the inspirational aspects of astronomy that embody an invaluable shared resource for all countries.

The IYA2009 activities will take place at the global and regional levels, and especially at the national and local levels. National Nodes in each countries have been formed to prepare activities for 2009. These Nodes establish collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres, educators and science communicators in preparing activities for 2009. The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) was proclaimed by the United Nations on 20 December 2007.

The IAU is the international astronomical organisation that brings together almost 10,000 distinguished astronomers from all nations of the world. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU also serves as the internationally recognised authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world's largest professional body for astronomers.


For more information, please contact:

IYA2009 National Node Chair for the People's Republic of Bangladesh

F. R. Sarker

Bangladesh Astronomical Society

Tel: +880-2-8014310, 8011335

E-mail: sarker@bdonline.com


IAU President, Chair of the IAU Executive Committee IYA2009 Working Group

Catherine Cesarsky

Tel: +49-89-32-00-62-27

Cell: +49-171-67-47-165

E-mail: ccesarsk@eso.org


IAU General Secretary

Karel A. van der Hucht

International Astronomical Union 

98bis bd Arago, F-75014 Paris, France


home institute:

SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research

Sorbonnelaan 2, NL-3584CA UTRECHT, the Netherlands    

Tel: +31-30-2535729/5600

Cell: +31-6-53-960237.

email: K.A.van.der.Hucht@SRON.nl


IYA 2009 Secretariat  

Pedro Russo

IAU & ESA/Hubble, Garching, Germany

Tel: +49-89-320-06-195

Cell: +49-176-61100211  / +351-962854775

E-mail: prusso@eso.org


UNESCO Contact

Yolanda Berenguer

Space Education Programme Coordinator


Tel: +33-1-45684171

E-mail:  y.berenguer@unesco.org


IAU Press Officer/Secretary of IAU IYA2009 Executive Committee Working Group

Lars Lindberg Christensen

ESA/Hubble & IAU, Garching, Germany

Tel: +49-89-32-00-63-06

Cellular: +49-173-3872-621

E-mail: lars@eso.org


The 100 IYA2009 Participating Countries List (Alphabetic order)

1. Austria

2. Belgium

3. Bulgaria

4. Croatia, the Republic of

5. Cyprus

6. Czech Republic

7. Denmark

8. Estonia

9. Finland

10. France

11. Germany

12. Greece

13. Hungary

14. Iceland

15. Ireland

16. Italy

17. Latvia

18. Lithuania  

19. Malta

20. Netherlands

21. Norway

22. Poland

23. Portugal

24. Romania

25. Russian Federation

26. Serbia, Republic of

27. Slovakia

28. Spain

29. Sweden

30. Switzerland

31. Turkey

32. Ukraine

33. United Kingdom

34. Algeria

35. Angola

36. Argentina

37. Armenia

38. Australia

39. Bangladesh

40. Benin

41. Bolivia

42. Brazil

43. Canada

44. Chile

45. China

  • China Nanjing
  • China Taipei
  • Hong Kong

46. Colombia

47. Congo, Republic of the

48. Costa Rica

49. Cuba

50. Ecuador

51. Egypt

52. El Salvador

53. Gabon

54. Georgia

55. Guatemala 

56. Honduras

57. India

58. Indonesia

59. Iran, Islamic Republic of

60. Israel

61. Japan

62. Jordan

63. Kenya 

64. Korea, Republic of

65. Lesotho

66. Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of

67. Malaysia

68. Mauritius

69. Mexico

70. Morocco

71. Mozambique

72. Namibia

73. Nepal

74. New Zealand

75. Nicaragua

76. Nigeria

77. Oman

78. Pakistan

79. Panama

80. Paraguay

81. Peru

82. Philippines

83. Qatar

84. Rwanda

85. Senegal

86. South Africa

87. Sri Lanka

88. Sudan

89. Tajikistan

90. Thailand

91. Tunisia

92. Uganda

93. United Republic of Tanzania

94. United Arab Emirates

95. United States

96. Uruguay

97. Uzbekistan

98. Vatican City State

99. Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of

100. VietNam


The International Year of Astronomy 2009 Welcomes the 100th Participating Country